The real “basket full of deplorables” seems to be President Trump’s advisors and spokespeople. To be fair, his cabinet picks are a mess but at least they need to be confirmed. Granted, there is not much chance of blocking them but their histories can at least be called into question. His spokespeople and advisors, on the other hand, are simply chosen and deployed.
Let’s look at some of them, shall we?
Stephen Bannon, Chief Strategist
This guy makes Reince Priebus look like a progressive by comparison. Most recently he has positioned himself as the leader of Breitbart News, an alt-right media outlet.
When Andrew Breitbart died of a heart attack in 2012, Mr. Bannon took over as head of Breitbart News and drove it forward.
The site positioned itself as a populist, bellicose, conspiracy-tinged outlet for right-wing Americans disillusioned with mainstream politicians.
“We think of ourselves as virulently anti-establishment, particularly ‘anti-‘ the permanent political class. We say [Republican House Speaker] Paul Ryan was grown in a petri dish at the Heritage Foundation [a conservative think-tank].”
President Trump suggested that Bannon would work together with Priebus, advising the President on matters of policy. However, within two weeks of his inauguration, President Trump pushed through an executive order naming Bannon to the National Security Committee. This appointment is unprecedented and clearly gives Bannon more influence than a typical advisor.
Kelly Anne Conway, Counselor to the President
This vague title seems to be a continuation of Conway’s role as campaign manager and chief spin doctor. Her background includes political polling, conservative women’s advocacy and originally Ted Cruz’s 2016 campaign manager.
Conway is most infamous for her “alternate facts”, a phrase she coined after defending Trump’s insistence that his inauguration crowd was the largest in history.
Recently, The Washington Post declared that Conway had just had her “worst week in Washington” citing her Bowling Green Massacre story. She eventually corrected her mistake by claiming she meant to say “Bowling Green Terrorists”.
Social media has had a field day lampooning Conway’s ridiculous statements which were not violations of any rules until her latest faux-pas on Fox and Friends:
“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff, is what I would tell you,” Conway said. “It’s a wonderful line. I own some of it. I fully — I’m going to just, I’m going to give a free commercial here: Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
Apparently, ethics violations will get you “counseled” and quietly benched.
Stephen Miller, Senior Policy Advisor
A lesser known senior policy advisor, Miller ascended from his position as press secretary for the recently confirmed Senator Jeff Sessions.
This week Miller made a name for himself after making the rounds on the Sunday morning talk shows. His platform included vehemently defending the President’s claim that 3-5 million illegal voters changed the outcome of the popular vote. His most chilling statements came on Fox news when he was defending the travel ban and the Ninth Circuit’s ruling:
“The president’s powers here are beyond question,”
“The 9th Circuit has a long history of being overturned and the 9th Circuit has a long history of overreaching. We don’t have judicial supremacy in this country.”
Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary and Communications Director
Spicer was tapped to be the President’s megaphone after his work with the Republican National Committee since 2011. While not notably deplorable, White House press briefings highlight his willingness to be the administration’s primary mouthpiece and a necessary source of comic relief. Or maybe that is Melissa McCarthy. It is hard to tell them apart!